Thillai was born in Sri Lanka and came to the UK in 1961. He is known in the UK as Tony because people struggle to pronounce his name. Thillai came to the UK alone because there were no restrictions between Commonwealth countries and no visas or passport checks. Thillai lived in Stevenage but when he retired in 1996 he decided to move to Milton Keynes so that he could easily access the M1 and visit his children up north.
Thillai remembers Milton Keynes being built because quite a few of his fellow engineers were involved in projects in Milton Keynes. His first impression of Milton Keynes was how comfortable everything was, he remembers the freshness of Milton Keynes compared to other towns because it was less polluted and full of trees. He said many people were attracted to Milton Keynes because the commercial industry was separated from housing and the grid system ensured a good future for cars. When Thillai moved to Milton Keynes he found it easy to settle in because he considered himself a seasoned person in the UK. The only aspect which took time was getting to know his neighbours and since leaving in Milton Keynes he has made lots of friends. Thillai has been a Parish Councillor for thirteen years because he wants to help the poorest people in the local community. Thillai deals with unemployment, housing and littering. Thillai’s children grew up learning more about British culture, but now that more foods are available, Thillai can make both Sri Lankan and British dishes.